Another proposal is to add to §6.1 guidelines on monetary contributions to legal services providers. The panel said private attorneys should be advised to donate the equivalent of what they typically charge for an hour of their time. Other attorneys should donate one-tenth of 1 percent of their salaries, the task force recommended.
Rule 522.8 of the Court of Appeals should also be revised to encourage pro bono participation by in-house counsel.
The Barnett panel said the pro bono recommendations are in keeping with the goal of the requirement imposed at Lippman's behest that new attorneys perform at least 50 hours of pro bono service before they can gain admission to the bar beginning in 2015 (NYLJ, Sept. 20).
A committee of the 30-member task force studied ways the state could increase pro bono service to fill the gap between available legal services and the need for more. The committee was led by Robert Sheehan, who is of counsel at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
Lippman said in an interview that the recommendations on pro bono are just the kind of proposals he wanted the task force to make.
"I didn't appoint them to do reports that sit on a shelf," Lippman said. "I appointed them to come up with new and creative ideas. I take very seriously the [pro bono] recommendations. We will give them really, really close scrutiny."
The changes to the Court of Appeals Rule 522.8 and to the Rule of Professional Conduct § 6.1 would need approval by the administrative board of the courts, which is comprised of Lippman and the presiding justices of the four Appellate Division departments.
Lippman said the task force recommendations, if adopted by the administrative board of the courts, do not appear to him to bring the state closer to mandatory pro bono. The state bar has traditionally opposed the imposition of mandatory pro bono.
"That certainly is not what any of these things are about," Lippman said. "That is not my intention and I have made that clear. I think the bar has risen to the occasion in so many ways with pro bono."
@|Joel Stashenko can be reached at email@example.com.